While many Letcher County residents hadn’t even awakened to their first cup of coffee early Tuesday morning, three people were gathered in a pickup truck in downtown Whitesburg starting their day — or continuing their night — by manufacturing the highly addictive stimulant methamphetamine.
Whitesburg City Police say they found Michael Douglas Rayburn Jr., 39, Erica Nashea Banks, 33, and Rayburn’s daughter Jami Michlyndakotah Rayburn, 20, making “shake and bake” meth on Church Street at 6:15 a.m. August 23 while seated in a white truck at 130 Church Street.
Officer Sara Damron said she was dispatched to the scene after a citizen reported that the three had been sitting in the truck for several hours. The address is also listed as the home of the Rayburns.
“Upon arrival I spoke with the passenger as her window was rolled down,” Damron wrote in a citation filed in Letcher District Court. “I could see the driver start shoving items below his driver seat as well as the passenger start making movements as if she was trying to conceal something. I was standing on higher ground than where the vehicle was located and observed what appeared to be a ‘one-step meth lab’ on the floorboard as well as precursors in the driver floorboard including coffee filters, aluminum foil, drain opener, etc. There was also a syringe located in the glove box.”
Officer Damron said she then asked for officers from the Kentucky State Police and that agency’s Drug Enforcement Special Investigations (DESI) unit to come to the scene “to confirm possible meth lab accusations.”
“All subjects were in easy access to all components,” she added.
The two Rayburns and Banks, of Kingdom Come Creek, are each charged with manufacturing methamphetamine ( first offense), unlawful possession of meth precursor (first offense), and possession of drug paraphernalia (first offense).
The three suspects were ordered held in the Letcher County Jail at 9:18 a.m. Tuesday by Letcher District Judge Kevin Mullins with bonds for each set at $5,000 cash . e
Th three are among five Letcher County residents charged with making meth in less than one week.
On August 20, Kentucky State Police Trooper Samuel Peace and Letcher County Deputy Sheriff Mike Enfusse arrested two alleged meth makers at Kona.
Brian Potter, 29, and Teddy Potter, 30, both of 160 Bill Lewis Hollow, were arrested at 11:59 p.m. Saturday and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine (first offense).
In an arrest citation filed in Letcher District Court, Trooper Peace says he and Enfusse went to the scene after the KSP Post 13 at Hazard received a complaint “that Brian and Teddy Potter were making meth.”
Peace writes that upon arriving at the scene, “I walked onto the porch (and) could smell a very strong chemical odor coming from the residence. After knocking on the door, Deborah Potter answered the door and I had Deborah, Brian and Teddy to exit the residence due to the degree of chemical odor coming from the residence. I then was given consent to by Deborah to search the residence, but was unable to do so due to the fumes being so strong.”
Adds Trooper Peace, “Hazard post then dispatched DESI East to the scene. Detective Randy Combs and Detective D. Slone arrived on scene and removed an active meth lab from the residence. Both Brian and Teddy were read Miranda warning and both gave a recorded confession stating they were manufacturing methamphetamine.”
Brian Potter and Teddy Potter are scheduled to appear in Letcher District Court for a preliminary hearing on September 1 at 1 p.m. Both are being held in the Letcher County Jail under bond set at $25,000.